The (19-4) Western Conference leading Lakers are in Milwaukee to face the (11-11) Bucks in the third game of a five game road trip. It was the Lakers 12th win in 13 games and allowed the team to improve to a 4-2 record on the road.
Los Angeles began a new streak by beating the Bulls as Kobe Bryant had yet another career defining moment. Not affected by a broken finger, he was on fire dropping a season-high 42 points on the Bulls. His 101st 40-point game and 1st in the house that Michael Jordan built, setting the tone early on 8-12 shooting and posting 20 points in the 1st quarter.
Kobe is averaging 28.4 points per game, but he has put up and average of 29.7 points in his last nine games against the Bucks. Bryant scored 30 points leading the Lakers to victory in their last appearance in Wisconsin. However, the Lakers have lost the previous two times playing at the Bradley Center.
The Bucks led by the #10 overall June Draft pick and budding star point guard Brandon Jennings played with a knee brace got a huge 108-101 double-overtime win over Portland on Saturday. Brandon Jennings posted a double-double scoring 18 points and handing out 11 assists in that game. He has also posted a 55-point game this season.
Milwaukee is a good young team that is 9-3 at home and on a two game winning streak.
The Bucks compete and play hard team on a nightly basis. Jennings is the Bucks team leader in points (21.1) and assists (6.0). Although seven Bucks have double-digit scoring averages, Andrew Bogut (15.9), Luke Ridnour (11.8), Ersan Ilyasova (11.8), Hakim Warrick (11.0), Michael Redd & Carlos Delfino (10.0).
The Lakers possess a dominating front line, although the Bucks Center Andrew Bogut & Power Forward Ersan Ilyasova have made some noise and are averaging a combined 37 points & 18.6 rebounds.
The Lakers need to take care of the ball because the Bucks defense is forcing an average of 16.9 opponent miscues per tilt, which is third in the league. The Bucks are turning that in 18.3 points off of turnovers per game, which ranks third in the NBA.
The Lakers need to continue to establish Andrew Bynum & Pau Gasol in the low-post. Los Angeles needs to start their offense by going inside, allow the big men to re-post and get several touches attacking in the painted area and avoid shooting so many 3-pointers. It is imperative that the Lakers get back in transition on defense, win the rebounding battle, stop the dribble penetration and rotate out to three point shooters.
Gasol has been phenomenal on the boards, but Bynum needs to join the party and become more of a factor on the boards. The reserves; Lamar Odom, Shannon Brown and Jordan Farmar came through down the stretch. Los Angeles needs the reserves to continue to gain a rhythm when called upon and make an impact on the game.
Tip-off: 5:00 PM PST
- Los Angeles: KCAL-TV9 (Joel Myers & “Hot” Rod Hundley)
- Milwaukee: FS Wisconsin (Jim Paschke & John McGlocklin)
- Los Angeles: ESPN 710 AM (Spero Dedes & Mychal Thompson)
- Milwaukee: WTMJ AM 620 (Ted Davis & Dennis Krause)
- Luke Walton (Back)
- Kobe Bryant (Avulsion Fracture of Right Index Finger)
- D.J. Mbenga (Sprained Ankle)
* Michael Redd (Knee)
* Luke Ridnour (Elbow) * Both Redd & Ridnour played on Dec 13th*
* Joe Alexander (Strained Hamstring)